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Moisture Attack on Adhesive Joints: Roles of Adhesive and Interface Properties



Donald L. Hunston, Kar T. Tan, Sushil K. Satija, Christopher C. White, Bryan D. Vogt, Cyril Clerici


It is well-known that moisture will attack many adhesive joints. A particularly interesting feature is the observation that when the moisture level in certain systems exceeds a critical concentration, the bonded joint shows a dramatic loss of strength. A number of authors have investigated this phenomenon and conclude that the interface plays a crucial role, but these studies do not explain why there is a critical concentration of moisture or exactly what role is played by the properties of the bulk adhesive. To gain a clearer picture of what controls this phenomenon, we have combined a fracture mechanics approach to determine joint strength with neutron reflectivity which provides a detailed characterization of the moisture distribution near the interface. The work uses a model system of silicon dioxide bonded to a series of polymers based on poly(n-alkyl methyl methacrylate). The results in this study suggest that the loss of adhesion is dependent on the combination of three factors: local water concentration near the interface, swelling stresses resulting from the water absorption, and water induced weakening of the interface bonds.
Proceedings Title
American Society for Composites Annual Meeting
Conference Dates
September 15-17, 2009
Conference Location
Wilmington, DE
Conference Title
Symposium Honoring Albert Cardon


adhesion, adhesive, durability, fracture, glass, interface, moisture, polymer


Hunston, D. , Tan, K. , Satija, S. , White, C. , Vogt, B. and Clerici, C. (2009), Moisture Attack on Adhesive Joints: Roles of Adhesive and Interface Properties, American Society for Composites Annual Meeting, Wilmington, DE (Accessed February 28, 2024)
Created July 22, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017